Wallabies stars rested as Larkham unveils new-look Brumbies side

Wed, Mar 22, 2023, 1:23 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
It's a high scoring affair in the nation's capital as the Brumbies host Moana.

The ACT Brumbies are set to field a revamped line-up without a host of stars as they prepare to face the Crusaders on Friday

Half a dozen Wallabies, headlined by captain James Slipper, will be absent as the Brumbies look to continue their unbeaten start to the season.

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Slipper, Nic White, Rob Valetini and Pete Samu were required to miss the game under the Wallabies' resting policy, whilst Len Ikitau (calf) and Darcy Swain (foot) were ruled out.

This has seen a host of unheralded stars thrust into the starting side, with last week's debutants Charlie Cale and Jack Wright starting.

Cale forms a new-look back-row with Luke Reimer and Rory Scott as Larkham looks to target the breakdown.

Wright joins Caderyn Neville in the second row, with Nick Frost reverting to the bench alongside returning skipper Allan Alaalatoa, who missed last week's win with a concussion.

"We've laid a good foundation for the season in the first couple of weeks and we're excited to get back to New Zealand as a group and take on this challenge against a side we have a lot of respect for," Larkham said in a statement.

Ryan Lonergan once again captains the side, with the absence of Wright pushing Andy Muirhead to fullback for the first time in Super Rugby since 2018.

33-year-old Argentinian scrumhalf Pedro Rolando makes a dream return almost ten years after arriving in Canberra.

Rolando has been a stalwart of the John I Dent Cup, leading the Royals to multiple premierships, joined by debutant Declan Meredith and Jack Debreczeni.

"We've had to rotate in a few areas, but we've backed our depth and our connection as a squad from the start and every player who gets on the plane knows the responsibility that comes with the jersey," Larkham added.

Meanwhile, the Crusaders will be without Sam Whitelock and Sevu Reece.

It is the lone changes from last week's win over the Blues as Scott Robertson puts an eventful week behind him, named All Blacks coach

BRUMBIES (1-15): Blake Schoupp, Connal McInerney, Sefo Kautai, Jack Wright, Cadeyrn Neville, Rory Scott, Luke Reimer, Charlie Cale, Ryan Lonergan (c), Noah Lolesio, Corey Toole, Tamati Tua, Ollie Sapsford, Ben O'Donnell, Andy Muirhead

RESERVES: Lachlan Lonergan, Fred Kaihea, Allan Alaalatoa, Nick Frost, Jahrome Brown, Pedro Rolando, Jack Debreczeni, Declan Meredith

CRUSADERS (1-15): Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Tamaiti Williams, Scott Barrett (c), Zack Gallagher, Ethan Blackadder, Tom Christie, Sione Havili Talitui, Mitch Drummond, Richie Mo'unga, Leicester Fainga'anuku, Dallas McLeod, Braydon Ennor, Pepesana Patafilo, Fergus Burke

RESERVES: Brodie McAlister, Kershawl Sykes-Martin, George Bower, Dominic Gardiner, Christian Lio-Willie, Willi Heinz, Will Gualter, Chay Fihaki

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